SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is incredibly important if you want your article to do well organically on Google. Most of my articles from my travel blog are now on the first page of Google thanks to some simple SEO practices. It’s not that hard once you know how to do it and a lot of online creators when they are starting out completely miss SEO. I know, I know – just the words SEO or search engine optimization can sound scary, but it really isn’t! Here are 7 of the best SEO practices and how you can get your articles to the first page of google.
Possibly the most important practice is making sure you have a keyword for each article. You should research the best keywords before you have even started writing. The keyword is the word/s that people are going to be typing into Google to find your article. The best way to search for keywords is by using the free tool – Google keyword planner. Look for a keyword that will have low competition and more than 100 searches per month. Then you need to use this keyword several times within your article. If you install Yoast SEO then it will tell you how many times minimum you should be inserting your keyword into your article depending on the length of it.
You need to be thinking as if you were a reader when it comes to keywords. Think carefully about if you were a reader and were trying to find information on Google about that certain subject. What would you type into that Google search bar? This is one of the best ways to look at keywords and one of the SEO best practices you should be thinking about when it comes to keywords.
You need one focus keyword for your article, but your readers may not always type the same thing into Google when looking for an article like yours. Think of a few different other phrases that relate to your article and include them within. For example:
My keyword: Saranda (this is a place I currently live in Albania and there’s not a lot of articles about it, so I can get away with a one-word keyword)
Other keyword phrases I can include in my article: Things to do in Saranda, places to stay in Saranda, Saranda guide, restaurants in Saranda, Saranda’s history, facts about Saranda.
I would implement all those lovely keyword phrases in my article about an ultimate guide to Saranda so when people search for those phrases my article will appear!
Your meta description includes your main keyword and any other keywords that you think people are going to be searching for to get to your article. It should be very descriptive and clear what people can expect in the article!
IMAGE ALT TAGS
When you upload images throughout your article make sure in the ALT section that you have your keyword in them. It can be embarrassing also if you don’t change your ALT tags because whatever you have saved that image as on your computer, this will be the ALT tag. Imagine if you saved a photo with the title ‘Shit photo of beach’ and then you uploaded that to your site and didn’t change the ALT tags. Embarrassing!
EASY TO READ CONTENT
Your content needs to be easy on the eye and easy for people to read. Make sure your paragraphs are not super long and you have headings to break up sections in your articles. Making your article easy to read is one of the best SEO practices. It also should be a decent length. Yoast SEO advice over 300 words but I always find that my articles that are over 800 words do extremely well with Google so I keep that as my minimum these days.
KEYWORD IN YOUR URL AND TITLE
Make sure your keyword is within your URL if your article wants to rank. It needs to also be in the title of the article for obvious reasons!
Your content should also have some internal links to help keep people on your site. This also helps with SEO. Make sure the content you are linking to is relevant to the article too!
What’s the easiest way to implement these SEO best practices? One of the best tools for SEO is the Yoast SEO plugin. I remember when I was starting in the online world SEO seemed like such a daunting task. You can download the plugin to your WordPress site and Yoast will automatically rate your SEO. It will give you a green light if it thinks you have implemented SEO well and red if you haven’t. It also tells you exactly what you should be doing to make your SEO better and any mistakes you might be making. It’s an extremely helpful plugin and probably one of the most important when it comes to SEO.
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